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  Monday, 4 November, 2002, 14:17 GMT
F1 changes 'will drive up costs'
McLaren's David Coulthard at speed in 2002
In the pursuit of speed, teams will spend more in 2003

Next year's Formula One rule changes could vastly increase costs in the sport, according to designers from two of the top teams.

Talking exclusively to BBC Sport Online, they said that the introduction of one-lap only qualifying could lead teams to spend millions more than they did in 2002.

That is exactly the opposite effect from that planned by the sport's bosses, who wanted to keep a lid on costs, as well as improve the sport's spectacle.

The technical directors of McLaren and Renault, Adrian Newey and Mike Gascoyne, believe that the changes will lead to the bigger teams building special cars for qualifying.


Like any rule change in F1, it does open up a lot of avenues
Mike Gascoyne
Renault technical director

"It is a potentially enormous expense, and it doesn't bring anything to the show. It's cheque book motor racing," Newey said.

He criticised the rule changes as "not thought through".

Teams already used special engines in qualifying, but the rule change means that the advantages of building a special qualifying car outweigh the disadvantages.

Teams would build lighter, faster cars built solely for speed, without having to worry about reliability.

That means the entire design could be different.

But Newey said: "There is a real chance that people will build qualifying cars. At the moment, you need a car that is capable of 12 laps, with short turnaround between each run.

McLaren technical director Adrian Newey
Newey wants to the teams to resolve cost issues

"Under the new rules, there is one flying lap and then you put it away again - that is quite a big change.

"The engine has only got to do three laps - and only one of them is timed - rather than at least four timed laps.

"Engine wise, that means lower mileage so you can take things to more of an extreme. Revs is obvious, but there are others as well.

"With the chassis, cooling springs to mind. You don't need to worry about heavy radiators, and taken to an extreme you might not have any radiators at all," Newey said.

"That would mean new bodywork to take advantage of the aerodynamic potential, and if you do that you would make a new monocoque [chassis]. So you could end up with two different cars."

Max Mosley - the president of motorsport's governing body, the FIA - dismissed the claims as "nonsense".

But Gascoyne added: "There is nothing open to you now that you could not do before, but you will consider things you had not considered before."


It will increase the gap between the haves and the have nots
Mike Gascoyne

"Like any rule change in F1, it does open up a lot of avenues."

Newey said that the teams need to come up with some changes to the technical regulations to nip the problem in the bud.

"The teams need to sit down and say, 'Let's not try to be clever with each other - what avenues are open and how can we close them?'" he said.

Mosley said: "Teams already change a number of elements on the car for qualifying, hence the difference in lap times between qualifying and the race.

"The best advice is that anything that could be done for a single lap during the course of one hour could be done for two, three or even four single laps - ie for the previous system.

"In any event, teams have to race the car that was scrutineered.

"If there were substantial differences between the car used for qualifying and the car used for the race, the team would have problems with the scrutineers."

An FIA insider said that the issue would probably be discussed at a meeting with the teams on 4 December, and that a rule would be written to prevent it escalating.

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Renault's Mike Gascoyne
"Cars will be more specialised"

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